It’s that time of year where a lot of big universities are busy sending out more skinny than fat letters to their applicants, but just because circumstances in life didn’t allow you to attend MIT doesn’t mean that you can’t still get some great EE education on the cheap. MIT has a number of freely available EE courses (and coursework covering a lot of other areas as well), which can be freely downloaded from the MIT OpenCourseWare website. If you’re looking for an excellent introductory level course, you’ll probably want to look at 6.002 Circuits and Electronics. Make sure to download the course material as well (available from the side menu) to get the most from the lessons. Just quietly cringe to yourself and pretend the lecture notes aren’t written in Comic Sans.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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All my final year exam papers were printed in large Comic Sans. We were informed it was “the only font that did not discriminate against dyslexic students”.
Yeah, but there is nothing like the good butt-kicking that these top tier math/science/engineering schools give you. I can remember mixing concoctions of various energy drinks and very strong coffee in order to stay awake and far too many times seeing the sun rise (my own fault for being in 6-8 groups at once).
Also, try and see what good colleges you have in the area. Usually, they will have several free and open to the public classes or lectures on the weekends or evenings. Just this last weekend at my alma mater, my boyfriend and I taught a class on GameShows. This involved not only how the games are played, history, and playing the games, but also the technology behind it, how to replicate it for yourself at home, and some of the people smart enough to beat these games due to faults they noticed. It was pretty much all high school kids and every one who participated got a silly prize from the dollar store with the winners get cash! Other courses that day included robotics, how to do simple circuit design, programming basics, and even advanced topics like electron microscopy.